In a statement to Politico on Sunday, Archer’s own attorney stringently denied any link between the meeting and the timing of the Justice Department letter, and said that his client was still planning to testify before the committee.
“We are aware of speculation that the Department of Justice’s weekend request to have Mr. Archer report to prison is an attempt by the Biden administration to intimidate him in advance of his meeting with the House Oversight Committee,” lawyer Matthew Schwartz said.
“To be clear, Mr. Archer does not agree with that speculation,” he continued. “In any case, Mr. Archer will do what he has planned to do all along, which is to show up on Monday and to honestly answer the questions that are put to him by the Congressional investigators.”
The timing of the letter appears to more closely correspond with an appeals court’s decision last Tuesday to uphold Archer’s sentence. His attorneys previously argued that it was “premature” to set a sentencing date for him before the appeals process could fully play out, according to the Justice Department’s letter.
This is C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot" for today:
A grim picture of the US and Britain's legacy in Iraq has been revealed in a massive leak of American military documents that detail torture, summary executions and war crimes.
Almost 400,000 secret US army field reports have been passed to the Guardian and a number of other international media organisations via the whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
The electronic archive is believed to emanate from the same dissident US army intelligence analyst who earlier this year is alleged to have leaked a smaller tranche of 90,000 logs chronicling bloody encounters and civilian killings in the Afghan war.
The new logs detail how:
• US authorities failed to investigate hundreds of reports of abuse, torture, rape and even murder by Iraqi police and soldiers whose conduct appears to be systematic and normally unpunished.
• A US helicopter gunship involved in a notorious Baghdad incident had previously killed Iraqi insurgents after they tried to surrender.
• More than 15,000 civilians died in previously unknown incidents. US and UK officials have insisted that no official record of civilian casualties exists but the logs record 66,081 non-combatant deaths out of a total of 109,000 fatalities.
The numerous reports of detainee abuse, often supported by medical evidence, describe prisoners shackled, blindfolded and hung by wrists or ankles, and subjected to whipping, punching, kicking or electric shocks. Six reports end with a detainee's apparent deat
The Biden administration has been saying all the right things lately about respecting a free and vigorous press, after four years of relentless media-bashing and legal assaults under Donald Trump.
The attorney general, Merrick Garland, has even put in place expanded protections for journalists this fall, saying that “a free and independent press is vital to the functioning of our democracy”.
But the biggest test of Biden’s commitment remains imprisoned in a jail cell in London, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been held since 2019 while facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, a century-old statute that has never been used before for publishing classified information.
Whether the US justice department continues to pursue the Trump-era charges against the notorious leaker, whose group put out secret information on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, American diplomacy and internal Democratic politics before the 2016 election, will go a long way toward determining whether the current administration intends to make good on its pledges to protect the press.
Now Biden is facing a re-energized push, both inside the United States and overseas, to drop Assange’s protracted prosecution.
Antony Blinken, US secretary of state, is a liar.
To be specific, his statement at the weekend that Julian Assange’s actions in publishing US cables and defence material “risk[ed] very serious harm to our national security” is a clear, indeed blatant, lie.
Let’s cite the authorities who over the years have confirmed that WikiLeaks’ publication of the Chelsea Manning material, including the Iraq and Afghan war logs, did little or no harm to national security:
- Barack Obama’s defence secretary at the time of the releases, Robert M Gates: “I’ve heard the impact of these releases on our foreign policy described as a meltdown, as a game-changer, and so on. I think — I think those descriptions are fairly significantly overwrought. The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets … Other nations will continue to deal with us. They will continue to work with us. We will continue to share sensitive information with one another. Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is it awkward? Yes. Consequences for US foreign policy? I think fairly modest”;
- The US Department of Defense in a secret report obtained by Buzzfeed in 2017: no “significant impact”; “disclosure of the Iraq data set will have no direct personal impact on current and former US leadership in Iraq”;
- Officials of Blinken’s department briefing Congress in 2010: “We were told [the impact of WikiLeaks revelations] was embarrassing but not damaging”;
- US military officials at the trial of Chelsea Manning: “I don’t have a specific example,” when asked to confirm the much-vaunted claim that the releases had placed the lives of US sources in danger.
Blinken knows all this. He worked as an adviser to Joe Biden when the latter was vice president under Obama. Yet he continues to peddle the lie that the Manning material damaged national security.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has denied several times this lie, as Assange neither did espionage activities, violated laws, nor any of the 18 charges by the US government.
The Mexican leader insisted that the major problem is that Assange told the truth about what really happened in Iraq and other places, uncovered corruption and violation of rights and laws in the United States, so that´s why they want to silence him and punish him for using his right to freedom of speech.
The move is expected to strengthen a central Australian Defence Force framework – Guided Weapons and Explosive Ordnance (GWEO) – which underpins fundamental assets of the nation’s military including manufacturing, storage and distribution, disposal, and research and development.
By signing the monumental agreement, Australia will be able to both carve its place as a major player in weapons export and also grow domestic stockpiles through on-shore production.
The deal was finalised in a bilateral meet between Defence Minister Richard Marles and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin on Friday.
Turkey renewed its air strikes on PKK positions in northern Iraq on Sunday.
Issuing a statement, the Turkish Ministry of Defense declared that PKK positions were targeted during these airstrikes.
News sources also announced that 2 terrorists were killed in the attacks.
Turkish ministry's statement also said that the armed forces of this country continue to fight effectively and decisively against terrorists to eradicate terrorism.
Under the pretext of fighting PKK terrorists, Turkey has deployed its troops in areas of northern Iraq and Syria and is conducting aerial attacks on parts of the northern areas of these countries.
Turkish airstrikes that allegedly targeted a civilian hospital and killed eight people in Iraq have been made the subject of a formal complaint to the UN human rights council.
It is the first case to be brought on the issue of Turkish airstrikes against the Yazidi people. The attack on 17 August 2021 destroyed the Sikeniye medical clinic in Sinjar and left more than 20 people injured.
The four claimants, either survivors or witnesses to the airstrikes, say they violated their right to life under international law, as guaranteed by article 6 of the international covenant on civil and political rights.
Further, the claimants allege that Turkey failed to investigate the killing of civilians resulting from the airstrikes and provide victims with effective remedies, constituting a violation of their rights to a prompt, independent and effective investigation under the same covenant.
A North Carolina school board censured one of its Christian members for posting an anti-LGBTQ+ image on social media that showed an American figure assaulting an LGBTQ+ figure. The Christian man defended posting the image, saying he had free speech rights to oppose “woke” cultural issues.
The Mount Airy Board of Education held a special meeting on July 10 to censure board member Randy Moore, a U.S. Army veteran who was appointed to the board in January 2021. Moore had posted a Facebook image of a figure in red, white, and blue colors kicking the midsection of another rainbow-colored figure symbolizing the LGBTQ+ community, The Mount Airy News reported.
- Truest statement of the week
- Truest statement of the week II
- A note to our readers
- Oil rich Iraq can't even deliver electricity to th...
- TV: The strike and what it boils down to
- A look at Cornel West's campaign
- Books (Stan, Ava and C.I.)
- 2023 Passings
- Tweet of the week
- This edition's playlist